The Summer I Became a Nerd: Leah Rae Miller

Those are some shiny legs.

General Summary: Maddie a cheerleader has a secret obsession with comics.  But she’s afraid if she mentions the fact she finds herself obsessed with X-Men (who can blame her her name is Madelyn Jean Summers).


I’m going to start this review with an analogy that if you read my pre-review on Good Reads, you’ve probably already seen it.

Imagine if you will that you’ve been scoping out this guy from far away.  And he seems perfect for you and low and behold he asks you out and you go out on a date together.  And, well, the date’s just awkward.  It’s not that it’s terrible there’s moments where you’re like yeah…that’s why I’m into him but other times you’re like what was I thinking.  I need to ask for the check.  But you don’t.  Because you reassure yourself that if you survive the date’s awfulness there’s a bottle of wine at home.

This book is that date.

It’s not a bad book.  The plot is pretty simplistic.  And honestly I knew it could be dubious.  Because popularity was a main part of the plot.  And I usually hate any book that’s about being popular unless it’s written by Meg Cabot or in movie form by Tina Fey.

However, I was willing to give this one a chance because it promised me the wonders of comic books and cosplay and all that good stuff that makes me watch The Big Bang Theory.  And the comic stuff was quite good.  To go back to our analogy. It’s like every time my date would smile at me or hand would caress mine I would feel that little zing.  But the rest of the time, nope nothing.

I’d say most of problems with this one resided in the main character Maddie.  I actually liked her YA significant other.  I know, I know.  That has to be a plus doesn’t it.  And it is, but for now let’s talk about Maddie.  She’s one of those girls.

Meaning, she has popularity on the brain.

I was glad that she was already popular though.  I can deal with that better than the I wannabe popular I’m going to ditch my friends and personality type.  But essentially Maddie was sort of like that.   And it was weird how Logan wanted her to drop everything-including her boyfriend-like a hot potato for him.

I get it, every nerd boy dreams of the day when they could have their very own Penny (a la The Big Bang Theory), but the way Logan was acting I was reminded of those scenes in those other books where the hero or the MC’s best friend feels so betrayed because she ditched them to play with Barbie and Ken.  And then Maddie’s guilt I really didn’t get it…


Much like I didn’t get why she hung out with Logan when she was dating Eric.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Logan a lot.  But I was like, girl this is only going to lead to trouble.

Which it did.

But at least she did try to break up with Eric, I will give her that.  But really I never got them as a couple.  I never really did.

Much like I didn’t get why Maddie was obsessed with hiding the fact she likes comic books.  Liking comic books doesn’t automatically make you a nerd.  Most people like comic books that I talk to.  I mean, look at how many movie tickets Marvel/Disney sold for The Avengers-that should be an indicator.  And who cares if people don’t like your cosplay.  It’s cosplay.  It’s cool.

But Maddie is obsessed with what people think.  And besides a girl who she was never really friends with anyway, no one really cares that she likes Batman and is now dating a guy who wears Iron Man boxer shorts (yes, he actually mentions this).

And yes, I found Logan to be adorable for the most part.  Save for the fact he took his little sister with them on their first date that…that was something.  I mean, it wasn’t even like she was truly forced on them.  Would you like to be babysitting on your first date?  It’s not romantic.  I mean I know Ann M. Martin has tried to make baby sitting looking alluring exciting to us for years with describing Claudia’s ridiculous outfits that she buys from watching Baby Einstein with the kids next door but please….

And Vera wasn’t a bad kid.  In fact, she was a little too perfect for a kid.  You know kids throw tantrums and act ridiculous sort of like Maddie…

Yeah, I know I’m harsh.  But really a lot of her actions were just a little over the top.

Overall though, I really did enjoy this one despite the gooey, gooey cheese and icky amounts of cringe moments (skim the last quarter if you don’t want to be covering your face).  It takes place in Louisiana too, which is always a plus.  And guess what it got points because it wasn’t offensive to Louisiana too (do you know how hard that is in YA).

Best Feature: Nerd Out.  Again, this must be a popular feature this week.  I honestly kept reading this for the comic book references.  It was sort of hilarious/disturbing how many of the characters were named after X-Men characters.  And I really liked the fact that Logan was a DC man.  Even though I am now into more Marvel stuff (their live action movie’s having been kicking DC’s ass).  I still hold great appreciation for DC, mainly because it was that brand that got me to love comics.  Plus, they have The Justice League.

The now regulation nerding out picture.  

Worst Feature:  Slut Slamming.  Oh dear.  I get that the Power Girl dresses provocatively but you don’t need to compare her to a porn star every other page.  BTW, she no longer wears the boob window costume.  They revamped it for the New 52 (not that it’s that much of an improvement since gets the Indiana Jones woman treatment in clothes-same costume but through wear and tear gets conveniently skimpier).  Not that I would care much if they dressed the men as provocatively as the woman.  Seriously, have you seen the way they’ve been sketching Catwoman lately?  I don’t think any of the DC ladies have heard of Victoria’s Secrets.

And the climax.  Basically it consisted of Maddie claiming her turf against a supposed evil bitch.  Well, two supposed evil bitches who were out to steal her man-cessory.   Seriously, if he likes you he’s not going to go out with the token mean girls.  You don’t have to do that weird real life role playing thing that makes the Christmas D&D on The Big Bang Theory look tame.

Appropriateness: This one is pretty clean.  I actually think it would be good for middle graders save for the whole Powergirl has boobs that borderlines on pornography according to this book and other slut slamming.  The language is mild, the characters only kiss, and for the most part they’re in the holding hands stage.  I mean, Wolverine’s little sister tags along with them on a date.  You can’t get to sexy good times with little sisters.  Though he did wear that Power Girl t-shirt.

Blockbuster Worthy: Sure, why not just for the sake of this blog entry.  It’s actually a fairly simple story and adapting it to the big screen should be easy enough. And casting these roles should be easy enough if I have a TARDIS.

Maddie: Kaley Cuoco.  Hey, she plays a popular lady dating a nerd.  She used to play  a teen on TV too and if I could deage her she’d be a perfect Maddie.

Logan: Johnny Gaelecki.  See nerd dating popular girl on favorite TV show.  Plus, he already knows how to wear glasses.  Bonus feature.

Overall Rating: I’m giving this one a five out of ten.  It probably would’ve gotten a bit higher score, but the ending just annoyed the heck out of me.  So first 3/4 gets a six maybe even seven the last 1/4 it squeaked by with a four.   Suggestion skim the ending savor over the first seventy-five percent.


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